When it comes to long-term goals, I’ve found I typically don’t accomplish what I set out to do because over time I lose momentum, focus and direction. I’m sure you can relate.
That’s why this year I’ve adopted a new approach of working in 90-day cycles to set action items with deadlines and scheduled regular check-ins to measure my progress.
I recently did my quarter 2 review and found it quite insightful. While defining my focus areas for the next little while, I looked at what I set out to achieve at the beginning of the year. Although I may not be where I want to be, I have undoubtedly made progress, which has made me realise 5 things about setting and achieving goals.
- Having a clear vision and focus works: If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you expect to ever get there? Being intentional is the only way you’ll see real results. While reminding myself of my goals, I have realised that I’ve made more progress than I thought. That never would’ve been possible without knowing what I’m working towards and having actionable tasks with set deadlines.
- Reflection is critical: As difficult as it is to set time aside to review your progress, looking at where you are, where you want to be and assessing whether you’re on track or not is so important. I have absolutely seen the benefit of making regular reviews a habit and urge you to at least give it a try.
- Any progress is progress: I may not be as far as I would like to be, but I’ve certainly made progress and for that I am proud. None of us can achieve our goals overnight, so incremental progression should be acknowledged and celebrated.
- Holding yourself accountable is key: I am responsible for my progress. My vision of where I want to be is only attainable if I put in the time and effort. At the end of the day, I am the only one who has the power to get me closer to my goal, and if I don’t then I live with the consequences. We all know how easy it is to make excuses, but making excuses gets us nowhere and we pay the price.
- You can’t do everything at once: As much as we’d like to have it all, it’s impossible to expect to be flourishing in every area of your life. Of course, this is the end goal, but being realistic about what is possible given your current circumstances is crucial. Choose key areas to focus on and have secondary goals to work towards, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t making as much progress as you’d like. Physical and mental energy are important considerations. Idle time is necessary to recharge.
We all have aspirations of what we want our lives to be and areas we’d like to improve to get closer to that ideal. Having a vision is important, but having a clear plan, tracking your progress and adjusting where necessary is the only effective way of actually achieving what you set out to do.
We’re halfway through the year – are you on track?